Osaka is a big city, so it’s crucial to stay somewhere convenient. Here, we explain the best places to stay in Osaka, complete with a full explanation of our reasoning.
Osaka Kita District © fran001
- Osaka is big, so you’ll save a lot of time and energy if you stay somewhere central and convenient.
- The best places to stay (in order of preference) are Kita, Minami, Honmachi (Central Osaka) and the Shin-Osaka Area.
- Other decent places to stay include the Tennoji Area and the Osaka Castle Area.
- Try to stay as close as possible to the Midosuji subway line, as this is the most important transport route in Osaka (it gets you almost everywhere).
- Here is our list of the best places to stay in Osaka. It’s based on the following reasoning:
- Access to transport is crucial. In particular, it should be close to the Midosuji subway line.
- There should be plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.
- Proximity to sightseeing attractions is important.
- The neighborhood should be pleasant, safe and interesting.
Based on this and my own experience with staying in Osaka, here are the best places to stay in Osaka.
Kita tops the list as the best place to stay in Osaka. It ticks all the boxes. Kita is Osaka’s most important transport hub and four train lines converge here (the JR Line and three private lines: Hankyu, Keihan and Hanshin). These offer quick access to other parts of Osaka, as well as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and further afield. The Midosuji subway line also stops right in the middle of Kita.
Kita is also a huge shopping, dining and entertainment district and you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants. There are also several sights to see in Kita, including the museums of Nakanoshima, the Umeda Sky Building, and Kids Plaza Osaka. Finally, Kita has plenty of wide, clean and safe sidewalks, that make is a pleasant place to stroll around. If you can find a good hotel deal here, you’ll be happy with your choice. For a careful selection of the best hotels in Kita, in all budget ranges, see our Kita District page.
Minami is a close second to Kita as Osaka’s best place to stay. Minami is a major transport hub and three train lines converge here (the JR Line, the Nankai Line and the Kintetsu Line). These offer easy access to Nara and Wakayama, as well as southern Osaka. The Midosuji subway line runs right through Minami, stopping at Shinsaibashi and Namba stations.
Most importantly, Minami is a huge and vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment district. In fact, if you’re specifically here to eat and enjoy the nightlife, Minami might be a better choice than Kita. For our top hotel picks in Minami, in all budget ranges, see our Minami District page.
If you find it difficult to choose between Kita and Minami, one solution is to compromise and stay right between them, in Honmachi (Central Osaka). Honmachi is much quieter and calmer than either Kita or Minami. It doesn’t have as many shopping and dining options, but don’t worry: there are still PLENTY of restaurants to choose from here.
If you’re a keen walker, you can easily walk to either Kita or Minami from Honmachi. And, if you don’t feel like walking, it’s not a problem, because the Midosuji subway line stops in the middle of Honmachi (at Honmachi Station) and it will get you wherever you want to go. And, since it’s not quite as fashionable as Kita or Minami, hotels tend to be slightly cheaper in Honmachi. For our careful list of the best hotels in Honmachi, in all budget ranges, see our Honmachi District page.
If you want easy access to the shinkansen (bullet train) line and you still want to be within easy striking distance of downtown Osaka (via the Midosuji subway line), then the Shin-Osaka Area is a good choice. If you have business that will take you all over Japan, or you have a Japan Rail Pass and want to use the shinkansen to really explore Japan (including places like Hiroshima, Kyoto, Himeji and Tokyo), then staying in Shin-Osaka can save you a lot of time and energy.
And, despite being at the north end of the city, you’d only be 5 or 10 minutes’ subway ride away from the major urban hubs of Osaka. And, there are plenty of places to eat and shop in and around Shin-Osaka Station. Needless to say, because it’s such in important transport hub, this area is filled with reasonable hotels. For our top picks, see our Shin-Osaka Area page.
At the southern end of Osaka, the Tennoji Area is an up-and-coming shopping, dining and entertainment district that has lots of things to do nearby. The streets here feel a little rougher than those of the areas listed above, but this is Japan, so it’s quite safe.
And, because it’s not as fashionable as other districts, hotels rates tend to be very reasonable here. As with the other areas listed here, the Midosuji subway line stops here, so you can easily access other parts of Osaka. For our top Tennoji hotel picks, including budget, mid-range and luxury options, see our Tennoji Area page.
If you want to be away from the crowds of Osaka and fancy being near a spacious park where you can walk or run, then the Osaka Castle Area is an interesting choice. There are enough shops and restaurants here to keep you well fed, and the rest of Osaka is only short subway or taxi ride away. Because it’s slightly less convenient than other parts of Osaka, hotels here tend to be cheap. See our Osaka Castle Area page for a strict selection of the area’s best hotels in all price brackets.
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:
- Open the Osaka map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Osaka Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Osaka guide
- Check Osaka accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online from Klook for collection on arrival at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare flight prices and timings to find the best Japan flight deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with the Japan Rail Pass - here's why it's worth it
- Find out why it's essential you have travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads.